Bonum Certa Men Certa

Say 'Hey Hi' to Software Patents

AI hype at EPO



Summary: Using the "AI" ("HEY HI") hype the 'community' of patent maximalists hopes that every little (and possibly very old) algorithm will suddenly sound amazing and innovative -- to the point where it becomes unthinkable to deny a patent monopoly on it

SEEING That 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101 is likely secure in the United States (the courts more so than the USPTO), we've decided to leave that aside for the most part. Instead we focus on patent policy in Europe, which got a lot worse under Battistelli. Software patents aren't just promoted "as such"; they're being blatantly promoted as "4IR", "AI", "blockchain" and so on...

Got a buzzword? You name it! The European Patent Office (EPO) will scrape the deep well of cash repository (applicants fees) and pay European media to spread that buzzword in relation to patents. This was done already. We covered that.

"By today's definition of it, I've done "HEY HI" since I was 20, but we never called it that. We called those algorithms all sorts of other things."One of the most pervasive hype waves at the moment is "AI", which we call "HEY HI" as means of ridicule. We ridicule the term for the most part; it has become utterly ridiculous and it covers just about everything, in the same way "cloud" and "smart" do. By today's definition of it, I've done "HEY HI" since I was 20, but we never called it that. We called those algorithms all sorts of other things. Terms like "machine vision" or "game theory" are a lot more meaningful and descriptive than "HEY HI".

Days ago the UK-IPO and EPO were both pushing "HEY HI" agenda in public. It was about patents rather than "HEY HI". To quote (with buzzword substitution): "Pihlajamaa added that there are three main categories of HEY HI: inventions on HEY HI such as machine learning, inventions which use HEY HI, and inventions created by HEY HI."

Marvelous, gentlemen! Just marvelous!

Where can I buy some HEY HI?

Show me to your HEY HI leader!

These buzzwords for algorithms would be merely cause for amusement and ridicule if they weren't actively used to feed patent trolls with software patents. There's nothing comical about extortion/blackmail leveraging fake patents that are invalid as per the EPC.

Articles like the one cited above show a degree of complicity inside the media; there have been lots of these lately from World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), as we noted days ago. We saw at least four in the past couple of days alone. All about HEY HI! In relation to patents:

The EPO’s discussions on AI with member states have focused on four aspects: patentability, disclosure, persons skilled in the art, and inventorship.

With respect to disclosure, Pihlajamaa said there is concern over ‘black box’ patenting, with inventions in the AI space not being sufficiently disclosed in patent applications.

Pihlajamaa added: “I have seen a lot of new technologies and often, when we talk about new technology, there is a new language created…a new [set of] terminology. It takes some time before there is a general agreement on how we express these different things.

“But, as I hear from examiner colleagues, we are already there. There’s already a lot of common understanding about how to draft patent applications [in the AI technology area].”

Sir Robin Jacob, the Sir Hugh Laddie chair of IP law at University College London, added that patent law will survive the fourth industrial revolution of AI, just as it has survived the first three.


So law firms and EPO officials just say "HEY HI" again and again. It "provided “very clear” guidance in this respect, particularly for the first of the two-step patentability test for AI applications," says the next article after that. It's article #18238 in WIPR, the above is #18237:

According to Mike Jennings, partner and patent attorney at AA Thornton in London, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided “very clear” guidance in this respect, particularly for the first of the two-step patentability test for AI applications.


WIPR used to do some decent work back in the days. It had some decent writers I could speak to; but this publication is nowadays beholden to patent maximalists and this never-ending "HEY HI" craze that they've promoted like a PR campaign says a lot about WIPR.

We should note that not only WIPR is the culprit. There has been much of the same from Managing IP lately, not to mention IAM. And here comes Patently-O with a new post in which Grant Harrison promotes the "HEY HI" hype as part of the attempt to frame algorithms as "HEY HI" and then get bogus patents on them. To quote: "Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence ( A.I. ) is one of the most sought-after fields in Computer Science. A.I. often implemented an algorithm or machine that can be trained by learning through datasets, the most common approach to this is through deep learning and natural language processing neural networks somewhat resembling human neuronal interactions. A.I is also emerging as a practice-of-law topic, with many ongoing endeavors into automated lawyers and assisted decision making." See the comments there, e.g.: "Every time I hear the term, “artificial intelligence,” our country’s fearless / fearful / feckless pres comes to mind and I chuckle." (the response to which was: "I think that if machines actually had feelings, that you would have just hurt them.")

The EPO officials, not to mention the law firms that support them (patent maximalists support like-minded people), probably think they sound very sophisticated every time they invoke "HEY HI!" Even when projects based on such hype turn out to be epic failures.

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